death-star-attToday you get a post expressing my absolute anger and frustration at AT&T Wireless.

It’s no secret I’m no fan of their service, considering I can’t use my phone in my house or really on my street. Suburban Cincinnati is obviously a No-Service-Area for them. But my upcoming trip to Alaska has me really frustrated. According to the coverage map, I’ll have no service in the cities we’ll be visiting, although my husband’s Sprint phone will be fine. (Verizon also covers our locations.)

I will be gone for two of the next 6 weeks in a place with no AT&T service. My contract ends in only 6 weeks. My early termination fee? $175. I’ll tell you what – it’s almost worth it.

But here’s the real kicker. I contracted with AT&T 4 years ago when I got my Blackberry. The service was Cingular and was excellent, actually. I never had a problem. When I got the Gen 1 iPhone in 2007, I stayed as Cingular morphed into AT&T. And my service degraded exponentially.

If I’d purchased a phone from AT&T last May, I would then be offered a pro-rated Early Termination Fee, which at this point would be around $20 or so. But since I’ve been a long-time customer, I’m punished. No pro-rating for me, which makes absolutely no sense in my head. According to the Customer Service rep, I didn’t ask for that contract. What? Can I have it now? No.

I’ve talked to 3 different Customer Service reps today, all of whom were very used to angry customers and none of whom really cared nor offered to try to change anything. Shouldn’t an angry customer be worth helping? Even if I’m considering leaving, don’t they want the good customer service karma from making things easy? If it was easy, I’d tell the world about the great service I received from AT&T and maybe come back earlier when I had iPhone envy. Instead, I’m telling the world how horrible they are.

Of course, I have always felt that providers should offer to pay at least half of the ETF when you’re switching. For instance, I really want to take a Palm Pre with me to Alaska, but I can’t afford all the new fees from Sprint, plus the phone, plus $175 to AT&T. Sprint should run a special that covers half of the ETF when you switch. That would actually help drive business, I would think, especially since Sprint needs the business. I’ve never understood why carriers don’t offer some sort of ETF package to encourage switching.

Of course, I don’t understand why AT&T is punishing me for being a long-time customer either. Any way you look at it, I end up a bit screwed.

__

Help Michelle Land Her Dream Job: http://bit.ly/reallygoodejob
Vote for Michelle and then tell all your friends!

More information at http://www.rainbowgoode.com

Contact Michelle with news, stories, events, and more.
Email: michelle[at]writetech[dot]net
Twitter: @writetechnology

About the Author:

Discussion

    shahana sattar4 August 2010 7:19 am

    This is the worst company i have had to deal with and use fraudulent practices to get your money.When i was unable to pay my monthly bill,i suggested that i pay a monthly payment,and asked to terminate my account until i had paid it off.I was told that if i waited till August,there would not be an early termination fee.When August came,and i paid my monthly bill i was told that i had an early termination charge for the 3 phones.They wanted to terminate my account and charge me early termination fees though i had been making monthly payments and not using the phones—they had been suspended.DO NOT USE AT@T!!!!!!

    PAK28 September 2010 5:50 pm

    AT&T Destroying Small businesses Every One at a TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    They have also harassed us do to a contract issue for the YEllerPagonS!!!!
    The Ad’s are to expensive w/ limited results. So we followed the instructions from AT&T customer service on how to cancel it. I was odd how the Sales person who tricked me into that contract was not returning any Calls. Anyway, Sent them a Fax requesting to cancel the next year. I thought It was over. We were like $1000.00 bucks behind on the first years bill. No big deal. I was going to pay them back asap. When I was sure next years Ad was canceled. The Phone Calls never stopped from accounts payable as I waited to know it was done. I got called by a different person all the time. Then tell the NEW GOON what is going on. They would see our fax to end the contract in the records! Long before the dead line to cancel!!! But,That didn’t make any difference At ALL to the jerk on the PHOne!!! They All said, We still have to pay for the canceled ADD!!!!!!. I told em I’ll pay for what I agreed to pay. Just fix the bill and remove the charges on the canceled contract and Ill pay off the first years balance. Sounds Easy to Me!! That Didn’t do any damn GOOD!! OMG……AT@T kept sending ever increasing Bills w/ late fees an of course Interest on the BS Contract!!!. Non-Stop Calling us ALL THE TIME to boot!!!!!! We received so many calls a day it stopped the growth of my business dead in its tracks. Got so sick and tired of re-explaining the Issue to a new REP every damn hour. I gave up answering the Business Phone!! I’m out in the field working hard. Trying to make a living. I can’t stop working to answer MY BUSINESS PHONE for the next AT%T 8.oo dollar hr. robot tell me what to do!!!!! NO WAY!!!
    The way I see it is those A-holes owe ME MONEY FOR LOST INCOME!!! I had the cash but they would never remove the Charges for the CANCELED ADD!!!
    ( Its so counter productive to Ruin the business that You clam owes you money! How do they expect us to pay them if we cant get new clients!!!)
    I’m not going to pay extra!! I lost trust in there system So I didn’t send any cash at all and If I did make a payment I know what would happen…
    THEY WOULDN’T REMOVE THE EXTRA CHARGES.
    THEN MAIL ME A BILL FOR THE NEXT MONTH!
    SO THEY CAN KEEP CALLING DAY AND NIGHT!!!
    THAT MEANS I CAN’T EVEN PAY THEM WHAT I OWE AS A LEGIT BILL!i
    I WILL never give those jerks a single penny……….

    BEWARE OF EVIL PHONE BOOK AT@T. CUSTOMER DIS-SERVICE HAS NO DESIRE TO DO THE RIGHT THING AN HELP SMALL BUSINESS GROW!!!!SMILE IN YOUR FACE AS THEY STAB YOU IN THE BACK.
    THEY TAKE CARE OF SMALL BUSINESS ALL RIGHT.. WHAT A CROCK!
    Just A Bunch of 9 to 5 Brain dead. In-human corp. FOllowers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PAK28 September 2010 6:02 pm

    Oh BYE the Way. I think they Racked up the bill to 6 or 8 grand of
    PHONE BLACK MAIL $
    Every Damn Attorney I tell say “That they Can’t take em to Court!!!”
    What a Bunch Of BS that is.
    Their business practices are nothing short of organized Crime!!!!
    Above the damn LAW!!!!!!!!!!1

    springzefira30 June 2011 9:10 am

    You signed a two year contract and signing the contract you get discounted phone pricing which would cost you more money either free or very cheap for your word that you will keep the service for 2 years or however long your contract is. When you break your word (contract) there is a fee.